In 1941, legendary North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il was born. He would have been 75. I snapped this photo back in my days with the diplomatic corps, during a three-day bender with Jong-il and a trio of Belgian prostitutes we’d picked up after a failed, clandestine meeting in Antwerp. He wanted nothing to do with increased grain subsidies, he’d laughed, unless that grain arrived in the form of Jack Daniels bourbon, which was hard to come by in North Korea thanks to an American embargo on luxury goods.
Jong-il decided he wanted to swim, and one thing led to another. We crossed France without incident. Surely some palms were greased along the way, as there was no mistaking the sleek, vintage 1974 Lincoln I wouldn’t see again until his funeral parade. Man, was that car cool.
Just after dawn we found ourselves in an apartment two blocks off the Cotes de Basques, ostensibly maintained as an RBG safe house. There was so much beer, pot, and cocaine–Jong-il was crazy about snorting the coke from one of the hooker’s ass cracks, after which he would laugh for half an hour, just giggling like a school girl–I’ve never seen anything like it, even during the out of control years of the first Bush administration. We never even left the apartment, let alone saw the beach. Sure do miss that crazy little guy; he really knew how to party.